U.S. FDA approves Gilead’s once-daily HIV pill

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. regulators approved a  once-daily HIV pill by Gilead Sciences Inc, giving a new source  of revenue to the leading maker of HIV medicines as it faces  expiring patents.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday gave a  nod to the pill Complera for patients who have not received  prior treatment for the virus that causes AIDS. The  $1,705-a-month drug combines Gilead’s Truvada with Johnson &  Johnson’s Edurant, which received FDA approval in May.

Gilead currently sells another once-daily pill, Atripla,  that combines Truvada with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s Sustiva,  but the California drugmaker earns no profit from the Bristol  drug and all of the Atripla components lose patent protection  in the next few years.

Under the deal with J&J, Gilead would keep up to 30 percent  of what it will make off the Edurant component in Complera.

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